Seeing green? It’s not just you. Matcha has taken the world by storm. Head to Pinterest or Instagram and you’re guaranteed to see an array of emerald-hued dishes — from matcha lattes to granola. Plus, this trendy powder is packed with health benefits — so we understand why everybody’s going green.
Matcha is made from whole green tea leaves that have been pulverized into a super fine powder. Research indicates that matcha powder has significantly greater levels of antioxidants per serving than brewed green tea. It also provides a mellow caffeine boost, allowing you to energize without getting the jitters or the post-cuppa crash. Matcha’s ability to induce alertness can also be attributed to an amino acid called L-Theanine, which is linked to promoting relaxation (but not drowsiness). Bonus points: Matcha may also be more detoxifying than regular green tea thanks to its high chlorophyll content.
Before you head to the kitchen, take note: All matcha falls into one of two categories, ceremony-grade and food-grade. While ceremony-grade is considered higher quality and should be used for drinking, the food-grade powder is intended for baking and cooking. That said, there’s no reason you can’t use the ceremony-grade stuff in recipes, too, and it often has a less bitter flavor than the powder typically used in foods. Ready to get your green on?
17 Matcha Recipes You’ll Love (Matcha Latte Included)
Instagram these brightly-hued crepes and your friends will go green with envy. The batter is packed with fiber, thanks to whole-grain buckwheat flour, and you’ll get a hefty dose of antioxidants from the matcha powder you’ll mix in. These crepes work perfectly at breakfast, with some fresh fruit and whipped coconut cream. Or serve them for dessert, with a simple dark chocolate and coconut milk ganache. Photo and recipe: Genevieve / Gratitude & Greens
The only requirements for this easy breakfast or snack are chia seeds, milk and matcha powder. (We recommend using almond milk, as it’s natural sweetness mellows the sometimes-grassy flavor of matcha.) From there, add any mix-ins you like, from toasted nuts, to fresh fruit or chocolate chips. Photo: Katelin / Nerdy Bites; recipe: Joey / Tasty
Take one sip of this creamy, slightly earthy beverage and you’ll want to bid adieu to espresso-based lattes for life. The naturally sweet and rich coconut milk will pair so well with your green powder that you may never crave a pumpkin spice version again. Photo and recipe: Jeanine / Love and Lemons
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Healthy fudge? Now we’ve seen everything. A combination of cottage cheese and psyllium husk give this treat a healthy dose of protein and fiber. Coconut butter lends a luscious texture, while shredded coconut, matcha powder and stevia create a subtly sweet flavor. Photo and recipe: Jessica / Desserts with Benefits
On its own, matcha can have an intense, sometimes bitter taste. In this green granola recipe, roasted nuts and juicy blueberries do wonders to tone down its strong green flavor. Plus, serve it up for breakfast and you’ll get that much-needed a.m. caffeine boost. Photo and recipe: Cheryl / 40 Aprons
Matcha and mochi are a match made in heaven. In these healthy treats, tart yogurt balances the grassy matcha flavor while bits of chewy, sweet mochi add some texture to each pop. Photo and recipe: Molly / My Name is Yeh
Matcha is the ideal addition to a pre-workout shake thanks to its mellow caffeine boost and ability to promote “calm alertness.” This mix has a subtle green tea flavor that’s complemented by the addition of a vanilla bean. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn
Wrap one of these in some parchment paper and tuck it away for a healthy afternoon snack. Sweet dates and rich cocoa powder combine nicely with this earthy matcha powder topping. The caramel-like taste of dates will be a welcome change from the more acute sweetness of white sugar found in many bars. Photo and recipe: Denise / Little Market Kitchen
When you’re craving dessert but want to avoid a sugar coma, this easy mug cake is your answer. The recipe calls for white sugar but any healthier alternative would stand in just fine — we’d suggest trying coconut sugar or agave. The cake should come out only slight sweet, but feel free to reduce the amount of sugar you use to suit your taste. Photo and recipe: Kirbie / Kirbie Cravings
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Move over, peanut butter cups. Coconut butter and matcha powder combine with a bit of almond flour to create the drool-worthy soft yet slightly chewy center in this rich morsel. Don’t skip out on the matcha-sea salt topping! Photo and recipe: Keepin’ It Kind
11. Matcha Muffins
These protein, fiber and antioxidant-rich muffins make a great breakfast or mid-morning snack (if you need a little pick-me-up). The best part? They’re just 105 calories per muffin, and they’re gluten-free. Photo and recipe: Elizabeth / Guilty Kitchen
Leave it to the folks at Blue Apron to come up with this insanely innovative way to use matcha. In this recipe, sushi rice gets an upgrade with the addition of rice vinegar, matcha powder, cilantro and black sesame seeds. The result is a healthy, flavorful and beautiful base for this Asian-inspired roasted eggplant. Photo and recipe: Blue Apron
Forget the super sweet, sugar-packed lemonade of your youth. This healthier nutrient-packed version is about to find a spot in your regular beverage rotation. Cucumber, mint and matcha add subtle, refreshing flavors, while a hint of agave helps sweeten the mixture just enough. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by DailyBurn
A mainstay on Japanese dessert menus, green tea ice cream is one of the most common ways you’ll see matcha used. Forego the usual dairy-and-sugar filled calorie bomb with this recipe that uses coconut and almond milks to create a creamy base. Honey and dates add sweetness without all the refined sugar. Photo and recipe: Minimalist Baker
Five minutes, five ingredients. It doesn’t get any easier than this! All you need is almond milk, matcha powder, chia seeds, maple syrup (or honey) and a fresh fruit topping of your choosing. And the proof is in the pudding: Each serving packs 32 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein. Photo and recipe: Renee Blaire / Life by Daily Burn
Permission to step your smoothie game up, stat. This easy-but-impressive recipe requires only a few essentials: one cup of unsweetened almond milk, one pear, one cup of spinach — oh and some matcha powder, of course! Add in a healthy dose of muscle-building protein and you’ve got yourself a super satisfying post-workout smoothie. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn
We’re all in on smoothie bowls, especially when they come bearing the gift of green tea goodness. Even better: when you get a refreshing hit of fresh mint and delectable cacao nibs. Photo and recipe: Laura / The First Mess
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Originally published February 2015. Updated January 2017.